Archbishop Cordileone’s Timely Pro-life Letter to Nancy Pelosi

“There are powerful forces in our country that use slogans to co-opt you into being agents of their own self-serving agendas. You must see through the lies.”

Archbishop Cordileone

Finally, we see San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone take public action for the well-being of the soul of his most visible parishioner – public servant Nancy Pelosi.

And what do I open Facebook to find but a graphic posted by a Catholic priest shaming the good Archbishop for denying the Eucharist to Nancy? Typical social media shaming? I hadn’t read Archbishop Cordileone’s letter, but the post from a priest in my diocese and more from other sources led me to read the letter.

I found the Archbishop wrote an honest, informative letter, and in the letter, he included a live link to a great site called Stand with Moms. The website explains the Pro-life stand on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, currently awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court. Stand with Moms is a beautiful site that I encourage you to take a minute and visit! VISIT HERE

Such a backlash against the Archbishop for taking the proper Roman Catholic stance by his own churchmen? And non-Catholic voices? It sounds like God is sifting the wheat from the chaff to me.

Archbishop Cordileone’s letter in part:

In the pastoral letter I issued a year ago, Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You, I laid out the Church’s teaching on cooperation in evil, especially that of abortion, and the proper disposition for receiving Holy Communion

Archbishop Cordileone

Letter to the faithful on the Notification sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi

May 20, 2022 // Archbishop

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Pope Francis has been one of the world’s most vocal advocates of human dignity in every stage and condition of life. He decries what he evocatively calls the “throwaway culture.” There can be no more extreme example of this cultural depravity than when direct attacks on human life are enshrined in a nation’s law, celebrated by society, and even paid for by the government. This is why Pope Francis, as much as any pope in living memory, has repeatedly and vividly affirmed the Church’s clear and constant teaching that abortion is a grave moral evil.

Surely no Pope has spoken more eloquently than Pope Francis did in the earliest days of his Pontificate, saying on September 20, 2013:

Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection.

Pope Francis

In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and solitude to which we so often condemn the poorest of the poor, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies. Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection.[1]

Another valuable insight Pope Francis gives us is that of the inter-connectedness of all of the threats to human dignity in the throwaway culture. As one clear example, in his landmark 2015 Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, he underscored that care for our common home includes care for the weakest among us, including the unborn child:

When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected. Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for ‘instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature.’ [2]

As the Archbishop of San Francisco, I am bound to be “concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1). This most serious duty can sometimes become unpleasant, especially when Catholics in public life explicitly promote practices that involve the direct taking of innocent human life, which is what abortion does. I have struggled with this issue in my own conscience for many years now, especially with regard to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and member of our Archdiocese, Nancy Pelosi.

I laid out the Church’s teaching on cooperation in evil, especially that of abortion, and the proper disposition for receiving Holy Communion, precisely to help our people better understand these principles and what is at stake here.

Archbishop Cordileone

I have received letters from very many of you over the years expressing distress over the scandal being caused by such Catholics in public life who promote such grievously evil practices as abortion. I have responded that conversion is always better than exclusion, and before any such action can be taken it must be preceded by sincere and diligent efforts at dialogue and persuasion. With regard to Speaker Pelosi, I have striven to follow this wise route, as delineated by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) in a letter to U.S. bishops regarding Holy Communion and Catholic politicians who cooperate in the grave evils of abortion and euthanasia:

… when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist. When ‘these precautionary measures have not had their effect …,’ and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’ [3]

This instruction is in accordance with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which stipulates, “Those … obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” In the pastoral letter I issued a year ago, Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You, I laid out the Church’s teaching on cooperation in evil, especially that of abortion, and the proper disposition for receiving Holy Communion, precisely to help our people better understand these principles and what is at stake here.

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months. Just earlier this month she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a “choice,” this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis: “The very idea that they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say that as a devout Catholic”; “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’ Yes I do. Are you stupid?” [4]


Please CLICK HERE to read all of Archbishop Cordileone’s letter and footnotes. You can download a copy for yourself and share it with your parish, family, and friends.


Thanks for taking the time to read the Archbishop’s letter to Nancy Pelosi! I’ve seen so many posts that show images of the Eucharists and rant about denying it that it seemed only fair to post what the Archbishop wrote. In browsing around, I found an article about the Archbishop encouraging students at a local Catholic high school to reject the lies of the abortion industry and become courageous advocates for life, following a boycott of a pro-life assembly at their school. He wrote an open letter to students (found HERE at First Things) and met with student leaders at the school. Hence the quote at the top of this post.

Perhaps you can include Archbishop Cordileone in your prayers. He is taking a courageous step for life that many bishops need to follow. May God intervene in any actions against Archbishop Cordileone and bless him greatly.

God bless you always,

Nancy M.


“There are powerful forces in our country that use slogans to co-opt you into being agents of their own self-serving agendas. You must see through the lies.” -Archbishop Cordileone in an Open Letter to Archbishop Riordan High School, a Catholic school in San Francisco


© 2022 Nancy Montgomery – ORCatholic.com
Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of ORCatholic.com.

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